Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism
by Thomas Inman, M.D. (1874)
Pagan and Christian symbolism
Fig. 90 represents an ancient Italian form of the Indian Ling Yoni. It is copied from a part of the Frontispiece of Faber's Dissertation on the Cabiri, where it is stated that the plate is a copy of a picture of a nymphoeum found when excavating a foundation for the Barbarini Palace at Rome. It deserves notice, because the round mound of masonry surmounted by the short pillars is precisely similar to similar erections found in Hindostan on the East and America on the West, as well as in varions parts of Europe. The oval in the pediment and the solitary pillar have the same meaning as the Caaba and hole—the upright stone and pit revered at Mecca long before Mahomet's time—the tree serves to identify the pillar, and vice versa. Apertures were common in ancient sepulchral monuments, alike in Hindostan and England; one perforated stone is preserved as a relic in the precincts of an old church in modern Rome.
The aperture is blackish with the grease of many hands, which have been put therein whilst their owners took a sacred oath. We have already remarked how ancient Abraham and a modern Arab have sworn by the Linga; it is therefore by no means remarkable that some of a different form of faith should swear by the Yoni.